Cover image for The progressive army : US Army command and administration, 1870-1914
The progressive army : US Army command and administration, 1870-1914
Barr, Ronald J.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xi, 223 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
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UA25 .B25 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries a modern, professional army was created in America. This was achieved in a nation which was traditionally hostile to the twin concepts of military professionalism and powerful central government. This major change in American life was accomplished by a few army officers and key Republican politicians influenced by the economic success of US business in the late nineteenth century. These individuals sought to create a national management structure served by professionals in the army and in government which challenged Jeffersonian and Jacksonian notions of local democracy controlled by amateurs. The political victory of these army officers and politicians created an American Empire, defended by central government, which was served by a professional military structure. These changes had a lasting impact on US defense and foreign relations throughout much of the 20th century. This text should, therefore, appeal to those interested in the progressive era, American military history, and US foreign relations in the first half of the 20th century.

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At the end of the 19th century, the US Army slowly evolved from a frontier constabulary to a modern command structure that imitated European models and was committed to protecting new American imperial interests in Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific islands. Professionalization of this military force was not without difficulty, however, because its proponents had to overcome inadequate budgets, the nation's historical aversion to a large standing army, and the fear of expanding federal power at the expense of states' rights. Unpreparedness in the Spanish-American War and subsequent overseas ventures gradually convinced policy makers and the public alike that professionalization of the officer corps, enlisted men's training, and the administrative framework was necessary. This struggle between neo-Hamiltonian reformers and Jeffersonian-Jacksonian traditionalists resulted in a victory for the former. Their stress on the adoption of corporate organizational techniques, scientific methods, and a merit system of promotion mirrored the values of the Progressive Era that stressed efficiency in all endeavors. Drawing on the best of archival and government sources, British historian Barr provides an incisive and balanced appraisal of the reform process. Suitable for all adult readers. M. L. Tate; University of Nebraska at Omaha

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tables
The American Army in the Late Nineteenth Century
No End of a Lesson:" America and the Spanish-American War
Early Army Reform and the Election of 1900
The Emergence of a New International Order
Root's Army Reforms
America and the Continued Extension of the White Man's Burden
International Suspicion and Fear of Japan: 1905-1908
Military Preparedness and the Emergence of the New Citizen Army: 1909-1920